PJSC HSCI – The Human Stem Cells Institute (“HSCI”, MOEX: ISKJ), a leading Eastern European biotech company, today announced that it has become a stockholder in Artgen, Inc., a US privately held biotechnology company located in Rockville, MD.
Exercising its equity participation rights, HSCI has made its first tranche out of the agreed investment which, when fully made, will result in HSCI’s share in Artgen in the amount of 32%.
Earlier HSCI licensed to Artgen its innovative ischemia drug Neovasculgen® for the development in the United States and Canada.
Neovasculgen® is a first-in-class gene therapy drug that was approved in 2011 for human use in Russia for treatment of atherosclerotic Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), including Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI).
To advance the Project, ArtGen is partnering with BioHealth Innovation, Inc., an innovation intermediary that translates market-relevant research into commercial success by connecting management, funding, and markets.
The agreements with the US partners have been signed by HSCI in August 2016.
In the course of 3 years from the project start, the contract manufacturing is planned to be set up on the U.S. grounds and pre-clinical studies and the Phase I clinical trials are expected to be completed.
Artur Isaev, General Director of HSCI, commented: “It was critical for us to have with our partners not only a license, but also an investment agreement to influence the project implementation as Artgen’s stockholder with the proper rights. And we consider Artgen to be our important financial asset whose value will be increasing upon passing key project milestones.”